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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHILADELPHIA 19 20 20 21 80 BOSTON 23 21 15 19 78 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHI - ALLEN IVERSON 25, MATT GEIGER 17, LARRY HUGHES 12 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 20, GREG MINOR 14, TONY BATTIE 13

HIGH REBOUND: PHI - MATT GEIGER 15, THEO RATLIFF 6 BOS - TONY BATTIE 12, VITALY POTAPENKO 8

HIGH ASSISTS: PHI - ERIC SNOW 6, ALLEN IVERSON 3 BOS - DANA BARROS 7, WALTER MCCARTY 3

ATT: 18,287


Extended Box

PHILADELPHIA (80) AT BOSTON (78)

PHILADELPHIA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GRANT F 25 2-4 2-2 1 4 5 0 2 1 1 6 RATLIFF F 25 3-8 0-0 3 3 6 0 5 2 1 6 GEIGER C 43 7-15 3-4 7 8 15 1 3 0 2 17 IVERSON G 46 8-28 7-9 1 3 4 3 3 3 1 25 SNOW G 36 2-8 2-2 0 5 5 6 0 2 3 6 HUGHES 24 6-12 0-0 2 1 3 0 2 1 1 12 MAHORN 21 1-2 0-4 1 3 4 1 3 2 0 2 MCKIE 20 3-8 0-2 0 5 5 2 1 2 1 6 HILL DNP - NOT WITH TEAM - PERSONAL HONEYCUTT DNP - COACH'S DECISION MOHAMMED DNP - COACH'S DECISION OVERTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-85 14-23 15 32 47 13 19 13 10 80 (.376) (.609) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 11(6 PTS)

BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

MCCARTY F 25 0-3 2-2 1 5 6 3 5 0 4 2 PIERCE F 41 7-18 1-2 0 4 4 0 2 0 5 20 POTAPENKO C 31 4-11 0-4 4 4 8 1 3 1 3 8 BARROS G 36 3-8 2-2 0 6 6 7 1 0 1 9 MINOR G 34 6-15 2-2 2 4 6 2 3 1 0 14 BATTIE 32 6-9 1-2 2 10 12 2 3 0 2 13 GARNETT 14 1-2 2-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 D JONES 12 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 0 1 3 RILEY 15 1-3 2-3 3 2 5 0 2 0 4 4 MERCER DNP - LOWER BACK SPASMS SCHINTZIUS DNP - COACH'S DECISION WALKER DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE

TOTALS 240 29-73 12-19 13 38 51 17 20 2 20 78 (.397) (.632) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 20(19 PTS)

PHILADELPHIA 19 20 20 21 - 80 BOSTON 23 21 15 19 - 78

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHILADELPHIA - RATLIFF 2, MAHORN, HUGHES. BOSTON - BATTIE 2, MINOR, POTAPENKO, PIERCE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHILADELPHIA 2-9 (.222), IVERSON 2-7, SNOW 0-2. BOSTON 8-17 (.471), PIERCE 5-10, BARROS 1-3, GARNETT 1-2, D JONES 1-2. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: DERRICK STAFFORD, GEORGE TOLIVER, VIOLET PALMER. A - 18,287. T - 2:12.


Box Score

PHILADELPHIA (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Grant 25 2-4 2-2 1-5 0 2 6 Ratliff 25 3-8 0-0 3-6 0 5 6 Geiger 43 7-15 3-4 7-15 1 3 17 Iverson 46 8-28 7-9 1-4 3 3 25 Snow 36 2-8 2-2 0-5 6 0 6 Hughes 24 6-12 0-0 2-3 0 2 12 Mahorn 21 1-2 0-4 1-4 1 3 2 Mckie 20 3-8 0-2 0-5 2 1 6 Hill DNP - not with team - personal Honeycutt DNP - coach's decision Mohammed DNP - coach's decision Overton DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-85 14-23 15-47 13 19 80 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.376, FT-.609. 3-Point Goals: 2-9, .222 (Iverson 2-7, Snow 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Ratliff 2, Mahorn, Hughes). Turnovers: 11 (Snow 3, Geiger 2, Grant, Hughes, Iverson, Mckie, Ratliff). Steals: 13 (Iverson 3, Mahorn 2, Mckie 2, Ratliff 2, Snow 2, Grant, Hughes).

BOSTON (78) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccarty 25 0-3 2-2 1-6 3 5 2 Pierce 41 7-18 1-2 0-4 0 2 20 Potapenko 31 4-11 0-4 4-8 1 3 8 Barros 36 3-8 2-2 0-6 7 1 9 Minor 34 6-15 2-2 2-6 2 3 14 Battie 32 6-9 1-2 2-12 2 3 13 Garnett 14 1-2 2-2 0-0 1 0 5 D Jones 12 1-4 0-0 1-4 1 1 3 Riley 15 1-3 2-3 3-5 0 2 4 Mercer DNP - lower back spasms Schintzius DNP - coach's decision Walker DNP - sprained left ankle _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-73 12-19 13-51 17 20 78 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.397, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals: 8-17, .471 (Pierce 5-10, Barros 1-3, Garnett 1-2, D Jones 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 5 (Battie 2, Minor, Potapenko, Pierce). Turnovers: 20 (Pierce 5, Mccarty 4, Riley 4, Potapenko 3, Battie 2, Barros, D Jones). Steals: 2 (Minor, Potapenko). ____________________________________________ Philadelphia 19 20 20 21 - 80 Boston 23 21 15 19 - 78 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 1 (Illegal Defense, 6:40 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,287. T: 2:12. Officials: Derrick Stafford, George Toliver, Violet Palmer.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson again failed to find his shooting touch, but got just the help he needed from Theo Ratliff in the final seconds.

Ratliff hit a lay-in off an air ball by Iverson with nine seconds to play, helping the Philadelphia 76ers continue their playoff push with an 80-78 victory over the injury-depleted Boston Celtics.

Celtics rookie Paul Pierce, playing in front of former college coach Roy Williams of Kansas, buried four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 20 points. But he forced a long jumper while double-teamed in the waning moments and his desperation attempt fell short as time expired.

"I just took too many dribbles and I waited a second too late," said Pierce, who has been bothered by back problems.

Iverson made a pair of foul shots to tie it, 78-78, with 53 seconds to go and had a chance to put Philadelphia ahead after former Sixer Dana Barros missed his driving attempt. Iverson's pull-up jumper from 18 feet was well short of the basket, but Ratliff entered the lane from the left baseline, caught the shot and laid it in the basket.

"I knew Allen was gonna take the shot," Ratliff said. "I just ran to a spot, caught the ball and laid it in. It's having a sense of knowing where you are on the court and where your teammates are, and that was the key to the play."

Having recently lost the league scoring lead to Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers, Iverson again struggled from the field. He made only 2-of-14 in the first half and shot a dismal 8-of-28 overall, finishing with 25 points. Iverson hit only 29 percent from the field in his previous five games.

"I was horrible tonight. I couldn't make shots," Iverson said. "But what's really strange is I'm not knocking down my open looks. Usually I hit those with my eyes closed. Last couple of games, I don't know what's wrong."

"Allen hasn't been hitting many shots, but just being out there on the court, like that last play, he is such a threat," said Sixers coach Larry Brown.

The 76ers, seeking their first playoff berth in eight years, have won five of their last six and jumped into a tie with Detroit and Milwaukee for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Last week, Philadelphia was fighting for the final playoff spot.

The Celtics were without star forward Antoine Walker, Ron Mercer and Kenny Anderson. Walker missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle, Mercer was absent for the third consecutive contest due to lower back spasms and Anderson went on the injured list before the game with a strained right hamstring.

"The lesson to be learned for this team right now is you've got people hurt, but when you play this hard, being shorthanded, we can make the playoffs down the road," said Celtics coach Rick Pitino.

Ratliff battled foul trouble and contributed just six points and six rebounds, but fellow starter Matt Geiger collected 17 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

"The way Matt and Theo crashed the boards, we're not afraid to miss shots," added Iverson, who had just three assists but also contributed three steals with only one turnover.

Iverson buried a 3-pointer with 4:42 to go, giving the Sixers a 74-69 advantage, but Pierce came back with a 3-pointer of his own. After a basket by Aaron McKie, Pierce again answered from beyond the arc as Boston pulled within 76-75 with 2:44 left.

After the teams traded empty possessions, Iverson missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. Pierce stayed hot with another 3-pointer -- his fifth of the game -- to give Boston its first lead of the fourth quarter at 78-76 with 1:05 remaining.

"I knew coach Williams was in attendance. I saw him midway through the fourth quarter doing a TV interview," Pierce said. "It was nice to play this way in front of him."

Pierce finised 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and the Celtics made 8-of-17 3-pointers overall. But Boston was done in by its 20 turnovers, which led to 19 points for Philadelphia. The Celtics managed just six points off 11 Sixer turnovers.

These teams were involved in a tight battle through much of the contest, with neither squad ever creating a double-digt lead. The game was tied, 59-59, heading into the final period.

Rookie Larry Hughes chipped in 12 points for the 76ers, who shot under 38 percent (32-of-85) from the field. They made just 2-of-9 from 3-point range and 14-of-23 at the foul line.

Celtics forward Tony Battie, who today pleaded innocent to assault and battery charges in Boston, had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

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